Depression is a common problem for elderly people. It’s not always easy to remain optimistic as we face decisions and certainties of aging — retirement, the death of loved ones, increased isolation and declining health. That being so, keep in mind that depression is not inevitable as we age and there are ways to prevent and treat depression in the elderly.
Health magazine provides these suggestions for dealing with elderly depression:
- Don’t dismiss symptoms such as losing interest in activities that used to bring them joy or losing their appetite.
- Listen to your loved one. One of the best ways to determine if your mom or dad is suffering from depression is to listen and be involved in their lives.
- Look for subtle signs rather than confirmation. A person suffering from depression may deny that they are clinically depressed. However they might frequently wring their hands or get agitated or irritable.
- Don’t impose terminology. If someone insists that they are not depressed it might be useful to remove the word depression when speaking of your concerns. Suggest that they should seek a doctors opinion on ways to help them sleep or gain appetite instead.
- Don’t take over a depressed persons life. Depression can cause symptoms where the person suffering does not want to perform routine tasks and they may not want to even get out of bed. Taking over routine tasks for them will only allow them to withdraw and help them avoid seeking help.
It’s important not to ignore depression in older adults. If your elderly parent or loved one is suffering from depression, seek help. According to an article in Health Magazine senior citizens have the highest rate of suicide in the country.
Keep in mind that Encompass Senior Solutions is always a resource for you as your loved one ages. Our in-home assessments will provide you with a comprehensive plan. We also work directly with your doctor(s) and other care providers to create a clear picture of the current situation. When we present our findings, we show where the senior is today and what help will be needed to care for them in their own home.
“Encompass Senior Solutions solves the challenges families face in caring for aging parents, with a focus on strategies that keep them in their homes. To learn more about our solutions, visit http://www.encompass-assessments.com.”